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Review: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 an iPad Alternative
Review: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 an iPad Alternative

By Salvador Rodriguez
June 23, 2014 9:33AM

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The Surface Pro 3 was developed by Microsoft to be a tablet that can also replace your laptop. The Surface Pro 3 offers many of the same leisure apps available on tablets while also being capable of running the heavy-duty software used to get work done on PCs. Microsoft hopes consumers will conclude that they can pay less and get more.
 



When Microsoft first announced the Surface, the tablet was unsuccessfully pitched as an iPad alternative. Now it's being marketed to consumers as a replacement for both their iPads and MacBooks.

Microsoft finally understands that consumers are not interested in a gadget that's similar to and more expensive than an iPad yet only offers a few more features. That's why the Redmond, Wash., company has designed the Surface Pro 3 to be a tablet that can also replace your laptop.

Starting at $799 and available June 20, the entry-level Surface Pro 3 is more expensive than a $499 iPad Air but not as pricey as the $899 entry-level 11-inch MacBook Air. It's also much cheaper than buying both the Apple gadgets. The Surface Pro 3 offers many of the same leisure apps available on tablets while also being capable of running the heavy-duty software used to get work done on computers. Microsoft hopes consumers will conclude that they can pay less for its device and get what they want from a laptop and tablet.

Microsoft began exploring this concept with the Surface Pro 2, which was released only eight months ago. The problem with the Surface Pro 2 is that it was released alongside the Windows RT Surface 2, a cheaper version of the tablet that is not capable of running laptop software. This time around, Microsoft has chosen not to release a Windows RT version of the third Surface, forcing customers to get the Pro version. That could help the tablet finally carve out its niche as the productivity tablet.

I got to test out the Surface Pro 3 and I found that Microsoft wasn't kidding: The tablet was able to do everything I normally use my MacBook for.

Just like on any laptop, I was able to download programs from the Web and install them on the device. And like on any tablet, I could also download apps like Netflix from Microsoft's digital store. The Surface Pro 3 runs Windows 8.1 Pro, which means consumers can switch back and forth between the operating system's touchscreen-optimized Start screen and the more traditional Desktop interface.

I mostly stuck to the desktop since I was testing the tablet's capabilities as a work computer. I downloaded Google Chrome and Spotify and used them to log into The Times' Web software to write my blogs and listen to music simultaneously, the way I use my laptop every day.

Writing on the Surface Pro 3 was easy, especially because of its 12-inch screen -- previously, the Surface had a 10.6-inch display. The additional real estate on the Surface Pro 3 makes its screen much bigger than what you'd find on most tablets. The iPad Air by comparison has a 9.7-inch screen. In fact, at 12 inches and with a 2,160-by-1,440-pixel resolution, the Surface Pro 3 has a bigger and higher quality screen than the entry-level MacBook Air. (continued...)

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© 2014 Los Angeles Times (CA) under contract with NewsEdge. All rights reserved.
 

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jerrycar:

Posted: 2014-06-25 @ 4:38am PT
The base model of Surface Pro 3 is 799.00 not 899.00



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